Articles

The Very Favorite Field Pack

“If my house was burning down, I would grab my Kamana binders.” This came matter-of-factly from a Kamana graduate I met at Wilderness Awareness School. I was in the midst of Kamana Three at the time, slogging through piles of plant taxonomy. The going was tough, and I wasn’t moving as quickly as I would […]

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urban cemetery sit spot

An Urban Story of Sitting

I love my neighborhood. It is so full of life—eclectic, eccentric, seedy, edgy, quirky, resilient, creative, beautiful life. Until two years ago, I would have said that all this abundance was predominantly of the human variety. Now, of course, I know differently, as I am greeted by display after stunning display of the bounty that […]

Posted in Core Routines, KamanaTagged , , ,
boy tending a fire

Truly Grateful for the Gift of Nature

One of the greatest gifts in life- especially in our increasingly wired society- is to have a deep connection to nature.  In a world that’s always changing, nature is our one constant. We can rely on the sense of well-being that comes from basking in the sunshine, the awe that comes from absorbing the sheer […]

Posted in Stories of Gratitude, Youth Program StoriesTagged ,
Boy at Sit Spot

Sit Spot Practices for Kids

Animals are living secret lives all around us all the time. As we become more aware of nature, we can become connected to them as fascinating beings we share the world with. Though it may seem obvious, these animals are individuals with their own temperaments, territories, styles, and sometimes families. To some extent, we can […]

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sparrow diving

Why I Buy Sunflower Seeds

Have you ever had one of those dreams where you run and run but never seem to get anywhere? I woke up from a nap the other day with my heart pounding and sweat beading on my forehead. I hadn’t been running in my dream—I had been flapping. I dreamt I was a migrating bird. […]

Posted in Birds & Bird LanguageTagged , , , , ,
Tracking at the Oregon Sand Dunes

Water is a Tracker’s Best Friend

I pulled my nose a bit closer to the bone dry, deeply fissured clay and squinted slightly in an attempt to get a better look at the tracks that lay before me as the sun reflected off the clay into my eyes. Jonah Evans, a veteran wildlife tracker and biologist with the Texas Parks and […]

Posted in Wildlife and TrackingTagged , ,
caterpillar on milkweed

The World of Insects

It’s common knowledge that monarch butterfly caterpillars eat only milkweed, but did you know that many other insects also feed exclusively on this host plant? Munched milkweed leaves could also be the work of (among other things) milkweed tussock moth caterpillars (Euchaetes), milkweed longhorn beetles (Tetraopes), milkweed weevils (Rhyssomatus), or swamp milkweed leaf beetles (Labidomera […]

Posted in Scientific Musings, Wildlife and TrackingTagged , , ,
water hemlock

Water Hemlock: Deadly Plants

Water Hemlock and its close relations are the most poisonous deadly plants in North America. All parts are deadly poisonous. Even a small mouthful of Water Hemlock can kill an adult. Therefore it stands to reason that ingesting even a little bit of Water Hemlock juice will make a person seriously ill. It’s best to […]

Posted in Survival SkillsTagged , , ,
Patrick in the wild

Tracking Wolves, Finding Myself

I began my journey with Wilderness Awareness School (WAS) by boarding a plane, alone for the first time, to track wolves in the Idaho backcountry. I was a freshman with a fascination for wolves and that first true wilderness experience was transformational. I went from liking nature to considering nature to be an essential part […]

Posted in Stories of Gratitude, Youth Program StoriesTagged , , ,
squirrel climbing tree

The Tree Climbers

It was my day of rest yesterday. I spoke to family and friends, went fishing at the lake, read a few pages of Bernd Heinrich’s “Mind of the Raven”, cleaned my boots, and closed my eyes at my Sit Spot. But that was only the beginning. Behind me, the sun was nearing due west, still […]

Posted in Core RoutinesTagged , ,
Wilderness Awareness School